Autumn is one of the best seasons to hike in North America, particularly in the US, where many US states have spectacular shows of fall colour in autumn. Below are some highlights of places to hike in Canada and the US that are perfect to explore during the fall season.
Starting in the north, the Canadian provinces of Quebec and Alberta are great to hike in the fall. In Quebec, the Laurentian Mountains have brilliant displays of the colour change; see them in the various provincial and national parks including Mont Tremblant National Park. Montreal, Ottawa and Quebec City are good cities from which to access these parks.
In the western part of Canada, Albertans eagerly await larch season, when the fall season brings about the change in colour of the alpine larch trees, providing a beautiful splash of colour in the Rocky Mountains. The most popular trail to see the larches at this time of year is the Larch Valley, Sentinel Pass and Paradise Valley Trail in Banff National Park, but there are plenty of other places to hike in to catch this phenomenon such as in the Kananaskis area.
United States of America
From the east to the west, the US has some of the best places to hike in the fall. Check out the states highlighted below (not a comprehensive list).
Vermont – the Green Mountains turn beautiful shades of red, orange and yellow – stay in Stowe (best known for skiing in winter) and hike the Mansfield Traverse.
New Hampshire’s White Mountains are another area to see the changing fall colours – check out the Presidential Traverse, a multi day hiking trail taking in the range’s highest peaks.
Massachusetts – head to the Berkshires in the western part of the state to see the fall colours, including up the state’s highest peak, Mount Greylock.
Maine – the very popular Acadia National Park is the perfect place to see fall foliage as well as Mount Katahdin, the northern terminus of the Appalachian Trail.
New York – The Catskills and the Adirondacks are beautiful places to hike in the fall, Lake Placid is one of the many places to access trails in this area.
North Carolina North Carolina – hike along the Blue Ridge Parkway (Blowing Rock is a great town to see fall foliage); Great Smoky Mountains National Park, which you can also see from Tennessee.
Utah – the state’s five famous national parks are great to visit in the fall when the heat of summer has mostly passed. Try The Narrows in Zion National Park; the Delicate Arch Trail in Arches National Park; the Fairyland Loop in Bryce Canyon National Park; the Confluence Overlook Trail in Canyonlands National Park; Hickman Bridge in Capitol Reef National Park.
Nevada – Las Vegas is a great city to visit for hiking in the surrounding mountains and fall is a great time to do it. Head out to Red Rock Canyon National Park or the Spring Mountains, both popular areas near Las Vegas.
Arizona – Fall is an ideal time to hike in the Grand Canyon, when temperatures have eased off the summer highs.
California – is a year round destination and there are so many places to hike in the Golden State in the fall. Head to Death Valley National Park or the Palm Springs as the hikes here are great to explore during the autumn season.
The possibilities for hiking in North America in the fall are endless. For more inspiration, check out Where to Hike When.